Posted : 6 April 2017

The campaign that promotes Dundee to the world, ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ announces three new global ambassadors as the city of Jute, Jam and Journalism becomes the City of Culture, Comedy and Comics.
 
The latest names to champion Dundee on the global stage with contributions international in scope and scale are the comedian and author Danny Wallace, Fleur Darkin, Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre and Mike Stirling Head of Beano Studios Scotland.
 
Reacting to the announcement of his new role Danny Wallace, the award-winning TV and radio presenter and novelist currently living in Los Angeles said he was delighted to represent his home town as ‘a confident city ready to welcome the world’.
 
“I’m very proud to be from Dundee. I’ve lived in different cities and different countries - but once you’re a Dundonian, you’re always a Dundonian.
 
It’s a proud city, and a determined one, but Dundee doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s the home of jam, jute and journalism, yes – but it’s also the home of artists, designers and inventors. And it’s a funny city.
 
I’m very proud to have been asked to be an Ambassador. Some people would be happy being asked to be Ambassador to Barbados or Fiji. I’ll take Dundee.”
 
This will be music to the ears of Mike Stirling. As Head of Beano Studios Scotland, Mike is a bridge between Dundee’s illustrious past in print and its exciting present and future in the digital media age.
 
Whilst Editor-in-Chief of The Beano comic, Mike helped to establish The Beano as the number one Christmas Annual which is no mean feat for a title first published in 1938.
 
Mike Stirling says of his latest role supporting Dundee:  “I’ve been lucky to have been based in Dundee during its resurgence as the UK’s renaissance city.  But the really cool thing is, that Dundee is probably too modest to recognise itself as such.  It’s a casually brilliant type of place. It’s also the city of laughs and the comic capital of the world.  Just look at our credentials? Minnie the Minx, Desperate Dan, The Broons & Oor Wullie, The Bash Street Kids and Dennis & Gnasher are just a few of our world-famous funny characters, all born here.  This is a city where comics are taught as a subject at University! If that’s not a signal of outstanding creativity, I don’t know what is!”
 
He says: “I’ve always happily told everyone why Dundee is great, and it will be an honour and a privilege to ‘officially’ continue to do so as a new city ambassador.”
 
Fleur Darkin, directs Scotland’s national contemporary dance company from its base at Dundee Rep, commissioning the world’s most exciting choreographers to work with the dance company before touring the productions worldwide. She believes that Dundee is a fantastic place to live for artists and creatives of all disciplines.
 
Appointed Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre in 2012, Fleur’s prior work has included productions with Edinburgh International Festival, Glastonbury Festivals and choreographing the world’s first ever science musical.
 
“Our productions are Dundee made and then we export what we do to the rest of the world. Being based in Dundee is a blessing for us, because it's very easy to live and work here and there are good conditions for experimentation.
 
There are so few companies in the world like this, that have dancers on a permanent contract. There’s a real history here that’s influenced the wider dance world. Royston Maldoom in the 80’s for example brought on and encouraged young people like Andy Howitt, who was one of his teenage dancers and has gone on to have an international career. That kind of ambition is achievable because of what’s been done for dance here and I’m proud to share the Dundee provenance of Scottish Dance Theatre wherever we travel.”
 
The announcement comes with VisitScotland’s claim that Dundee is “on the cusp of a tourism transformation”.
 
Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “This is an extremely exciting era for tourism in Dundee. The V&A Museum of Design Dundee and the multi-million pound waterfront project will position the city and the surrounding areas as one of the top travel destinations in the UK.  From Jam and Jute to Comics and Culture, Dundee has made some significant contributions to the world and now is the perfect time to celebrate those successes. We are working closely with the local tourism industry to make the most of this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to bring more visitors to the region. “
 
Danny, Fleur and Mike join an illustrious list of ambassadors that includes TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, V&A Museum of Design Dundee Director Philip Long, Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross, and Emmy award-winning actor Brian Cox.